7. Late Medieval Religion and Its Critics

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Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251)

In this lecture Professor Wrightson surveys the religious landscape of England during the later medieval period through to the reign of Henry VIII and the beginnings of the reformation. He notes that while the late medieval church was more vibrant and popular than many early triumphal analysis of the reformation allowed for, there were, nonetheless, critics of Catholicism within England. He traces the earlier opposition to the church as arising from three primary groups: those educated clerics and laymen who desired reform within the church, the small pockets of Lollards within England who opposed traditional religion, and the group of people influenced by European reformation thought who would later work to implement doctrinal change within the Church of England. Professor Wrightson also provides an analysis of late medieval piety and the role that the traditional church played in people’s daily lives at the local level prior to the reformation.

00:00 – Chapter 1. Religion
05:08 – Chapter 2. The Pre-Reformation Church
14:51 – Chapter 3. Potential Weaknesses
29:31 – Chapter 4. Criticism

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2009.

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